38% of all cyberattacks on businesses in 2016 were completely “avoidable” and would have been prevented if staff has been trained properly, according to a report by CFC Underwriting.
The survey of 254 UK small firms revealed that a significant number of attacks made by cyber-criminals were “phishing scams” – where hackers send emails to businesses purporting to be from a reputable company in order to extract sensitive data like credit card numbers.
A relatively mundane attempt at fraud, fingers are being pointing at business owners for failing to educate and warn staff about such risks.
Indeed, 27% of respondents admitted to never training their staff on issues of cyber security because they “didn’t know where to start” – suggesting business owners themselves are in need of more education on the matter.
Top 10 Essential IT Security Questions You Need To Ask Yourself
There was a rise of 78% in cyber claims from 2015 to 2016, with 90% of claims coming from businesses with less than £50m in revenue – signifying that online opportunists are specifically targeting smaller businesses.
When businesses were quizzed about what poses the biggest threat to their livelihood, cybercrime came in second, topped only by Brexit.
31% of IT companies report cybercrime to be the main threat, followed by 25% in the manufacturing sector. By comparison, just 8% overall are concerned about traditional crime.
Inga Beale, CEO of Lloyd’s, said:
“It’s one of the most high-profile risks businesses are facing at the moment and yet CEOs seem to be in denial about its impacts and their ability to deal with it.
“Businesses are either not looking for solutions, or if they are, they don’t know where to find them or understand the value of them. Insurers need to explain the benefits cyber insurance can bring.”
Graeme Newman, chief innovation officer at CFC said:
“It’s concerning to see that more than half of small businesses do not have an incident response plan in place that outlines roles and responsibilities in the event of a cyber-attack.
“Small businesses must take a two-pronged approach to guarding against an attack, implementing good security and risk management practices along with a strong cyber insurance policy.
“For small firms that are time poor and cash strapped, cyber-insurance policies exist not only to pay for financial losses should their systems be compromised, but also to help them handle and resolve incidents quickly and effectively.
“Although only 9% are worried about regulatory fines as a result of a cyber-attack, we can expect to see this shoot up the agenda when GDPR hits in 2018.”
Worried about cyber-attacks against your small business? Read here how messaging apps can help protect your data.
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